Geography and Urban and Regional Planning BSc (Hons)

The Geography and Urban and Regional Planning BSc explores some of the big issues facing today’s and tomorrow’s societies, including key issues such as urban regeneration, climate change, sustainable development, property development, community involvement and transport infrastructure.

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This programme particularly suits those geography students with a keen interest in human geography.

Birmingham is a first-rate planning laboratory, and this degree programme will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to make a difference to how we live today and in the future. 

We are ranked 1st in the Russell Group for graduate employablity (DLHE 2016/17)

100% of our students go into graduate employment after studying with us - 2016/17 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Jadine Havill

Jadine Havill

BSc Geography and Urban and Regional Planning

“The course has given me a range of academic and transferable skills and what I’ve found most enjoyable are certainly the practical elements of the course. Working with practitioners and real-life planning and development projects has really allowed me to use the skills I have learnt and be able to visualise a career in planning.”

Urban and regional planning lies at the heart of the major challenges that face existing and future generations.

Decisions that are taken today can have a major impact on what happens to our towns and cities in the future, so it is important that we get those decisions right. Only by having an in-depth understanding of the way our towns and cities work can we hope to make informed decisions about the future of the built environment.

This unique Geography and Urban and Regional Planning BSc builds this understanding by drawing on the research and international reputation of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) here at Birmingham.  Based in the great planning laboratory that is Birmingham, you will be able to exploit fully the huge wealth of case study material available on your doorstep whilst interpreting these experiences in an international context. This will bring to life the issues you are studying and set them in a real world context.

You will have access to a wide range of modules in one of the largest and most vibrant geography departments in the country, on top of the flexibility and choice offered in planning.

There is a lot of practitioner input into the programme and there are opportunities for European field trips – this year it was to Berlin – and professional placements.

Why study this course

If you are interested in urban issues - particularly why cities develop and change - a degree in Planning will be right up your street. And where better to study important issues such as housing, transport, urban planning, property development, sustainability, conservation and business than in a city with a rich industrial heritage that has undergone rapid and dramatic transformation over the past two decades - and remains a work-in-progress?

This degree programme will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to make a difference to how we live today and in the future.

We are ranked first in the Russell Group for graduate employability and 100% of our gradiates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17)

Modules

Year 1


Year 2

Compulsory modules

Optional modules - Example optional modules may include:


Year 3

Compulsory modules

Optional modules - Example optional modules may include:

 

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees and funding

£9,250 (Home/EU - 2019-20)
£17,640 Fee Band 1c (International Students - 2019-20)


More detail

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB

Specified subjects excluded for entry: General Studies and Critical Thinking

Additional information:

BTEC Extended Diploma will not be considered without suitable Geography content or additional A level - contact us for further guidance.

BTEC Diploma accepted in combination with an A level.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma accepted in combination with two A levels.

Applicants may be eligible to be considered for the Unconditional Offer Scheme. For details see the Unconditional Offer Scheme 2018.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6, 5, 5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com  
Learn more about applying

How you learn is as important as what you learn. The learning experience at Birmingham combines a wide variety of study methods extending way beyond the lecture theatre, to include extensive fieldwork, practical work and tutorials.

How you will learn

We use a number of different teaching and assessment methods including lectures, essays, group and individual work and formal examinations, culminating in an extended essay in Year three. Throughout the degree you will receive personalised support from a dedicated team of academic and support staff.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is included as part of this programme, and there are opportunities for European field trips to locations such as Malta and Rotterdam.

Find out more about fieldwork costs and funding.

Your personal tutor

You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham. We also have dedicated academic tutors who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University.  You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support. 

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the Centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. You can find out more about the members of staff in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.

Our cutting-edge teaching programme is built on a foundation of over one hundred years of research and teaching excellence. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner shaping your own intellectual development with us. You will learn from academic specialists at the top of their fields and the world-leading research they carry out feeds directly into our degree programmes. The research-led teaching on our flexible degree courses ensures an inspirational and enquiry-based learning environment in the classroom, lab and field.

Resources and facilities

As well as lectures, tutorials and practical classes you will have access to extensive educational facilities across the School and University including library resources, a well-equipped map room, state-of-the-art laboratory and IT facilities, and purpose-built learning spaces.

Contact hours

In Years 1 and 2 of your Planning degree you can expect to average between 10-14 hours of lectures and classes per week. In addition, there are residential field courses in both years. In your final year, more of your time will be spent on an independent research project and independent study; therefore, you can expect to average between 6-9 hours of contact time spent in lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Assessment methods

At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done.

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

During your first year you will be given a formal transition review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you may need support. Your personal tutor who is based in the School can help with any academic issues you encounter.

Related research

A Planning degree from Birmingham provides a raft of opportunities in the private and public sectors, both of which demand the skills and know-how you will acquire with us, such as business acumen, groupworking abilities and technical expertise. The good news is that as our towns and cities are constantly evolving there will always be a need for planning as an activity. 

Where could a Planning degree take you?

Past experience has shown that this degree opens doors to a wide variety of lucrative careers in the built environment. Potential career opportunities in Britain and overseas include town and country planning, inner-city regeneration, sustainable development, housing and conservation, property development or estates management, planning in developing and transitional countries, management traineeships in the public or private sectors, and teaching. Other students continue in education with further postgraduate study.

You will leave with a range of skills relevant to careers beyond planning and its related fields. Our graduates are welcomed by a range of employers including central and local government; government agencies; property consultancies; planning and urban design consultancies; broader built environment consultancies; private companies and utilities; and developers. Actual recent career destinations for our students have included the Environment Agency, Homes and Community Agency, Birmingham City Council; Wyre Forest District Council; Redditch Borough Council; National Grid; King Sturge; Turley Associates; Lambert Smith Hampton; CBRE; Pegasus Planning Group to name a few.

The majority of employers will expect candidates to have an undergraduate degree in planning as a minimum. To become a chartered town planner (which is recommended for increased career prospects and to enter a job at a higher point in the pay scale) you will need to have completed a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited degree. You can do this at the University of Birmingham by undertaking our RTPI accredited Masters Course in Urban and Regional Planning.

See examples of what our graduates go on to do.

Transferable skills

Our graduates have exciting and varied career paths. Our degrees are designed with employers in mind enabling you to develop a unique blend of general, specialist and, crucially, transferable skills. From data analysis and problem solving to communication and team-working, these transferable skills are highly valued by employers and will enhance your employability in the competitive job market.

Careers network

Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoringglobal internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.